Drug testing

Educational Toys - How Do Parents Choose The Best Toys For Their Child

The choices are mind numbing. Walk into any toy store or the toy section of any department store and there are shelves and tiers of toys labeled 'educational toys'. There are books, games, dolls and the list just goes on and on. It includes everything from an infant's building blocks to Leapfrog interactive games. The sheer variety is overwhelming. How does a parent or a grandparent choose the best educational toys for the children in their lives? Will the child like it? Will it hold up under the abuse of play? Will it accomplish the purposes for which it was purchased? And finally, is it a good value for the money?

The first rule that parents and grandparents should keep in mind is to buy educational toys that are age appropriate. The temptation is nearly overwhelming to buy children, especially infants, toys that reflect the interests of the giver. For example, how many times have you seen fathers who were sports enthusiasts give a child a piece of sports equipment that was way beyond the youngster's ability to use. Footballs, fishing rods and bows and arrows given to infants and toddlers are a complete waste of money. Parents, proudly convinced they are raising a child prodigy, create a frustrated youngster when they push the child into playing with toys outside the manufacturer's suggested age range. Real safety hazards are presented when children are encouraged to play with toys beyond their ability to understand or handle safely.

The second rule of buying educational toys is to keep in touch with the child's interests. Children grow and develop at rapid rates, both mentally and physically. Continually changing interests are a natural part of this development as the child explores new ideas and concepts. It is important for parents, and grandparents, to spend time playing with the child for a whole host of reasons. One of those reasons is that it helps the adult keep in touch with the child's current interests. Play is how children learn and educational toys are tools of that play. It does little good to buy a small girl jigsaw puzzles and Teletubbies when what really interests her are word games and chemistry sets.

Educational Toys Should Serve A Purpose And Stimulate The Child

Choose educational toys that stimulate the child. How often have we purchased children a toy and watched them shove the toy aside and play with the box in which it was packaged? Educational toys are of two basic types. They are those that develop physical skills and those that develop cognitive skills. Legos, for example, are great educational toys for older pre-school and elementary school aged children. Legos invite children to become creative as they assemble these interlocking blocks into an unlimited myriad of shapes and designs. The activity of assembling the Legos also helps develop fine motor skills.

Beware toys that are so highly developed that the game does all of the play. Some video games fall into this category. The child does not have to think or even be especially adept or coordinated physically to play the game. These games may be an interesting diversion for the youngster, but they contribute very little to either the youngster's creative or physical development.

When selecting educational toys, choose quality over quantity. We have discussed children's continually evolving interests. Even so, we all too often overwhelm our children at gift-giving occasions such as birthdays, Christmas and Hanukkah. Youngsters go from toy to toy and cannot decide with which to play. If this only happens a couple of times a year the child will eventually sort them out and play with all of them. The problem is that many children are continually given new toys, not only at special occasions but also throughout the year.

Some children are given so many toys that they remain overwhelmed. They do not learn to appreciate the things that they are given. They can also develop a distorted sense of values. They begin to equate parental and grandparental love with the quantity of things they are given. Their expectations of what they will be given escalate into unrealistic levels. This is a disastrous characteristic if it is carried into adulthood.

Children overwhelmed by the number of toys they are given receive little benefit from the educational toys. They cannot concentrate on any one toy long enough to let their creativity blossom. Too many toys can be damaging to a youngster.

Parents and grandparents should also concentrate on toys with build-in quality. As we have already discussed, the toy should be designed to stimulate the child's physical skills or creative abilities. The toy should also be safe and durable for the age group of children for which it was designed. The toy should be designed to hold up well under the abuse of play. It should not be constructed of potentially toxic materials such as lead-based paint. It should also be constructed in a manner where small pieces that can be swallowed will not readily be broken off and in a way that there are minimal risks of injury from sharp edges or corners.

While there are many small manufacturers of excellent toys, when in doubt choose toys made by top-rated companies with time tested brand names. Examples include Fisher Price, Disney games and Milton Bradley to name just a few.

Parents and grandparents can help their youngsters safely develop into happy, healthy and well-rounded young adults with some conscientious attention to the educational toys they choose. Just keep in mind the child's level of development and current interest and choose toys that are appropriate for that age and interest. Make sure the toy will stimulate the child either physically or creatively. You want to stretch the child's abilities, but not so much that the youngster becomes frustrated or so little that the child either becomes bored with the toy or lazy physically or mentally. Finally, if given the choice, select one or two quality toys rather than a room full of cheap toys.

About the author: Royce Armstrong is a successful freelance writer with a business and banking background who believes consumers should get the best value for their money when shopping for educational toys including: science toys, mind puzzles and other unique toys.

In The News:

A Texas man reeled in a massive 12-foot tiger shark over the weekend, calling it a “once in a lifetime catch.”
An extremely rare 1913 Liberty Head nickel is expected to fetch between $3 million and $5 million when it is auctioned on Wednesday.
A robust clubhook squid washed up on an Oregon beach last week for the second time within the span of two weeks, giving researchers another rare opportunity to study the mysterious deep sea creature.
Florida’s red tide, which was declared an emergency by Gov. Rick Scott on Monday, has been devastating marine life on Florida’s Gulf Coast this summer.
A disgusting wave of swirling garbage was captured on video by a college student in Manila Bay.
Researchers at the California Institute of Technology have gathered hundreds of satellite images from between 1992 and 2011. The images, turned into a GIF, show how the ground in the southern part of the world's fifth largest economy rises and falls when groundwater is pumped in and out of aquifers beneath the surface.
In popular science literature, much ink has been spilled on the supposed collapse of Easter Island, or Rapa Nui, as it's known in the local language.
For nearly two months, there has been no sign of NASA's Mars Opportunity rover.
Right now, as you read this very text, your DNA is getting sliced up by tiny, invisible bullets. The damage-dealers are known as cosmic rays, even though they are absolutely not rays — but the name stuck from a historical misunderstanding. Instead, they're particles: electrons and protons, mostly, but occasionally heavier things like helium or even iron nuclei.
Pictures show the stunning 2018 Perseid meteor shower.

Relate With Your Teen And Gain Their Trust

We were all teens at one time for some many... Read More

Teaching Your Children About the Value of Money

We take it for granted that children know how money... Read More

Blended Families Can Be Successful

Many families today are blending members from past relationships. It... Read More

Peer Pressure - Five Ways to Help Teenagers Beat Peer Influence

Young people generally want to fit in to their various... Read More

PG Rating Isnt What It Used To Be

If there are any parents reading this who are thinking... Read More

Choosing a Daycare or Pre-School ? Top Ten Safety Tips

When it's time to put your child into a daycare... Read More

Give Your Child the Gift of Self-Esteem

Much has been said about the "gifted child" but in... Read More

Parenting Your Teenager: Kids and Money

Most teens go into the work world ill-prepared to manage... Read More

Kids and Sports: Fundamentals First

Would you hand a child calculus problems once she was... Read More

Ten Ways to Help Your Child Make Friends

Nothing touches the heartstrings of a parent or teacher more... Read More

How to Stop Divorce Parental Conflict from Bursting?

It is not the divorce but the conflict arising after... Read More

How Fathers Can Step Up to Fathering

When our oldest son was 2, my wife went out... Read More

Joining a Gang: How to Help Kids Prevent it, How to Tell if Theyve Joined One, How to Help Them Out

While youth gangs are nothing new -- they've been traced... Read More

How to Foster a Love of Reading and Writing in Your Child

The key to lifelong learning is reading and writing. When... Read More

So, The Thing Is... Im Feeling A Little Guilty

So, the thing is? I am feeling a little guilty.I... Read More

Unilateral Disarmament - The First Step to Improving Communications with Your Teenagers

Many times, we are so conditioned in how we speak... Read More

Helpful Tips for the Adoptive Grandparent

Few things are more completely enjoyable than becoming a grandparent.... Read More

Tips for Parents of Teenagers: Dont Just Survive - Thrive!

What makes parenting so challenging at times? One widespread research... Read More

Hurting from the Outside - In: The Rise of Self-harming

Ask any teacher or adolescent counselor what the most disturbing... Read More

Are You Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child?

Although many parents are concerned with our children's intelligence quotient... Read More

How Do Campers Protect Their Children?

Oh yes you have! Suddenly, "Where's Bobby?" You instantly realize... Read More

Develop Your Childs Genius: The King of Games - the Game of Kings

Many people still think that the game of chess is... Read More

Car Wash Fundraiser Preparation

Are you considering a car wash fundraiser for your group?... Read More

Parenting Your Adolescent: 3 Powerful Steps to Being an In-Charge Parent

Q. How do I overcome the 16-year-old who does things... Read More

Parenting---Roots and Wings

I'm sure many of you have heard that old Hallmark... Read More

led exterior lighting fixtures commercial led lighting fixtures Pete's produce ..